April 20, 2013 12:45 pm

April 20 practice quotes: Jake Muzzin

On maintaining a spot in the lineup and whether he feels “established”:
“A little bit, I guess you could say, yeah. I know I have to continue playing well, and continue working and getting better, and I have lots to improve on and stuff like that. With these new guys coming in and old guys coming back in, it’s good for the team. It’s a competitive environment in here, which brings the best out in all the guys. I just have to continue working and getting better, and hopefully I continue playing with Greener.”

On skating with Matt Greene:
“Well, we all know what Greener brings to the table. He’s a big, physical guy. Simple, hard working. So I just want to continue working hard, being physical like I have been and moving pucks. Hopefully I contribute on the power play and just continue moving here.”

On feeling more settled and confident in the NHL:
“Yeah, I feel a little bit more comfortable. I mean, when you’re first here, you don’t want to make a mistake because you feel like you may be sent down or out of the lineup and stuff like that. But the game’s full of mistakes, and you have to play like you’re not afraid, right? You’re going to make mistakes, so you might as well go out and play. I’ve kind of settled down a little bit in that aspect of the game, and I have to continue with that, actually. You’ve got to play confident and comfortable out there. You’re going to make more mistakes if you were trying to play like “oh, I’m scared not to make a mistake.’”

On whether he has noticed that the opposition is playing him tighter:
“No. I haven’t noticed. I don’t I’ve been around long enough. I like to create space and little angles to get shots through, because the guys are so good at blocking shots now. I mean, most of the penalty killers and stuff like that – the guys play it pretty tight anyways, so I have noticed anything on myself, no.”

On whether he’s always had a “heavy” shot, or if it required refinement:
“No, I’ve worked at that for a while. My dad always stressed a lot of shooting pucks in the driveway. [Reporter: Was there a banged up garage door somewhere?] We had a fence that took a beating, and we had to take it down after a while. [Reporter: It’s like Sidney Crosby’s dryer?] Something like that. I’m not as good as him. No, I’ve always kind of worked on it, and he’s always stressed when I was younger to ‘Work on your shot, work on your shot, work on your shot.’ So it’s just one of those things that it has developed. With the technology and the sticks these days, the puck really can come off.”

On whether his dad played hockey at any level:
“No. If you know, he’s not a big hockey fan.”

On how he became a hockey player:
“Well in Canada, that’s what you do. Everyone plays hockey. I played soccer and I played hockey, and he supported me in what I wanted to do. It wasn’t his first thing, ‘I want my kid to play hockey.’ [Reporter: How did he know to keep working on your shot?] He pushed me. It wasn’t easy. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it. I wasn’t going to half-ass it. So he pushed me…I played hockey in Brantford and junior in Sault Ste. Marie.”

On whether he had any other athletes in his family:
“No. My sister just played volleyball and figure skated when we were growing up, and my younger sister, she just kind of followed me and my older sister around, so she didn’t really play too many sports. She’s more of the artistic one. There’s a family bio for you guys.”

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